Mixtapes: What it is and why we need that back


I’m a little taken aback by the misuse of everything pertaining to all things DJ. The misrepresentation has gotten a little ridiculous. From the tools of the trade are, what a DJ’s performance is, to what the hell passes for a mixtape now. There was nothing wrong with the mixtape. It was a promotional tool used by DJs to promote Hip Hop music. It’s reach covered the globe, and it was an expression of that DJ’s taste, and talent. A mixtape: A mixed, cut up, and DJ’d compilation of tracks for an hour…what happened?

It has since become a mockery.

Pretty much any collaborative effort by a rapper NOW is called a “mixtape”. Any mixtape created by a DJ is being referred to as a “DJ Mixtape“. Any representation of what a DJ does has been swiped and revamped and distorted to the point that the DJ’s presence isn’t even there. Enough of that. Too much apathy on our part and not enough standing up for what is ours. Those days are done. This is the call to every DJ to stand up (fake DJs please, remain seated) and represent.

The “Street Album” being referred to as a Mixtape…I need that clowned. That’s incorrect and whatever rappers need to do to clean their house, is their concern. I’m not a rapper…I’m a DJ. Here’s a little word of advice to the rappers from a DJ, if you want us to play your song here’s what we require:

Acapella’s and instrumentals. I don’t care what your “manager” (who got a 100 dollars more than you) is advising you. You’re hearing it straight from the DJ’s mouth. Include these things.
Clean/Club versions. We don’t always play clubs, and if there is a function like a wedding, children’s party, we don’t need you cursing in between every bar.
Drops. If you want to be an artist, and you want us to play your single, then you should have the presence of mind to represent us, like we are representing you. While you’re in the studio, in the booth, recording your vocals, record a shoutout to the DJ who’s representing you by playing your single.

Right now DJs are marginalized for having skill. It’s almost like being a good DJ is frowned upon. “Oh, he’s a real DJ” or “He’s a Scratch DJ“…bullshit. That needs to end now. A mixtape doesn’t necessarily have to be merely audio. Show your skill make your mixes, let your public hear REAL, and not terrestrial radio programming. Introduce your audience to the hot shit you find, and PLEASE don’t necessarily play a record cuz you’re paid to. Make sure that the hot records get spins on YOUR mixtapes, let the radio play the garbage. Keep your mixtapes in circulation, and keep spinning!

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